Pied Kingfisher

Ceryle rudis  in हिंदी
Scientific Name:  Ceryle rudis

Name:  Pied Kingfisher

    Local Names:
  • Bengali     দাগযুক্ত মাছরাঙা
  • Gujarati     કાબરો કલકલીયો
  • Hindi     चितला कौडियाल
  • Kannada     ಕ್ಪಬಿಳಿ ಮಿಂಚುಳ್ಳಿ
  • Malayalam     പുള്ളി മീൻകൊത്തി
  • Marathi     कवड्या खंड्या, कवड्या धीवर, भादुर (कोकण भाग)
  • Nepali     छिरबिरे माटीकोरे
  • Punjabi     ਕਿਲਕਿਲਾ
  • Sanskrit     शबल मीनरंक, क्षत्रक, मत्स्यरंक
  • Tamil     பொரி மீன்கொத்தி
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Pied Kingfisher has black and white plumage. It is impossible to confuse this medium-sized bird with other kingfisher. Male has black crest and crown, white stripe above the eye, black larger stripe across the eye extending on nape, and white throat and collar. Upperparts are black with white edges giving a mottled aspect. Rump is streaked black and white. We can see white spots on the wing coverts. Underparts are white, finely barred with two black lines, the higher being broader and often broken in the middle. Bill is black, long and similar to a dagger. Eyes are dark brown. Legs and feet are blackish. Female has only one breast band, narrower than male and also broken in the middle.

Size in cm:

25-25 cm

Size in Inch

10-10 Inch

Primary color:


Secondary color:

white   (Bird may have more colors)


Pied Kingfisher populations are not threatened. Pied Kingfisher is one of the Kingfishers the most widespread in the world.

Habit and habited:

Pied Kingfisher lives close to the water, near large rivers, in estuaries, near small and large lakes, coastal lagoons, on rocky and sandy coasts, close to fresh or brackish water tanks. It needs perches close to water, as trees, fences, posts and others.


Pied Kingfisher’s typical call is a loud, penetrating and repeated "kwik" or "kik", and a high-pitched “TREEtiti TREEtiti ".

Bird Type:

Perching Birds

The Pied Kingfisher is a water kingfisher and is found widely distributed across Africa and Asia. Their black and white plumage, crest and the habit of hovering over clear lakes and rivers before diving for fish makes it distinctive. This kingfisher is 20cm long and is white with a black mask, a white supercilium and black breast bands. The crest is neat and the upperparts are barred in black. Several subspecies are recognized within the broad distribution. This kingfisher feeds mainly on fish, although it will take crustaceans and large aquatic insects such as dragonfly larvae. It usually hunts by hovering over the water to detect prey and diving vertically down bill-first to capture fish. When not foraging, they have a straight rapid flight. They can deal with prey without returning to a perch, and so can hunt over large water bodies or in estuaries that lack perches that are required by other kingfishers. Unlike some kingfishers, it is quite gregarious, and forms large roosts at night. The breeding season is February to April. Its nest is a hole excavated in a vertical mud bank about five feet above water. The nest tunnel is 4 to 5 feet deep and ends in a chamber. Several birds may nest in the same vicinity. The usual clutch is 3-6 white eggs. The pied kingfisher sometimes reproduces co-operatively, with young non-breeding birds from an earlier brood assisting parents OR even unrelated older birds. In India, nestings have been found to be prone to maggot infestations and in some areas to leeches.

Distribution Map

  •     Resident (inc. local and altitudinal migrants)
  •     Former range (no recent records but may still survive)
  •     Summer visitor (including summer monsoon)
  •     Winter visitor
  •     Passage (autumn and/or spring) visitor
  •     known to be occasional, scarce or erratic
  •     Small isolated population (actual range smaller)  
  •     Isolated record(s) - one or more in the same area  
  •  colour coded for seasonality as per coloured ranges, black denotes unspecified season

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